I am currently very close to the end of my tether on a house renovation, over 12 months down the line, a 12-week project has almost beat me. Lots of my contacts on here have chatted to me over the last 12 months on the renovations we have been doing to our home and around how I found the whole process of working with businesses outside my usual industry intriguing and were there any lessons that we could learn to run our businesses better.  

Let’s talk about the rollercoaster ride that is house renovation – a journey filled with dust storms, unexpected surprises, and what you hope is the sweet satisfaction of seeing dreams come to life.  

Like running a business, house renovations are not for the feint hearted, we have busy work lives, hectic home lives, possibly with children and their schedules to juggle and a whole new team of people to work and collaborate with in your building team.  

The Pains: 

  1. Unforeseen Delays: Construction timelines often resemble a suggestion rather than a concrete plan. Patience becomes both a virtue and a necessity. This often happens in business too. You know exactly where you want to be but carving in the activity to get it done everyday on top of the multiple fires you may be fighting can cause delays.  
  1. Budget Battles: Staying on budget is like trying to keep a straight line on a zigzagging road – challenging! Unexpected costs can hit hard, leaving your wallet whimpering. It is amazing just how many law firms do not have a true handle on their day to day finances. 
  1. Design Dilemmas: Too many choices can lead to decision fatigue, making the process overwhelming and exhausting. Take your time planning and ask to see previous work from your contractors. This can help in business too – ask for referrals from outsourced providers or speak to other businesses like yours or your local law society for tips and advice.  

The Potential for a Better Experience: 

  1. Clear Communication: Just like in business, open and transparent communication is key. Set realistic expectations, communicate changes promptly, and ensure everyone involved is on the same page. This one has been the hardest and biggest problem for us during our build – ignoring phone calls and messages will really leave a sour taste in your customer’s mouth. Believe me even if the news you have for your client or your team isn’t what they want to hear, all communication is better than none. Delays happen, mistakes happen, just be open about these and move forwards. 
  1. Strategic Planning: In both home renovation and business, meticulous planning is the backbone of success. Anticipate challenges, have contingency plans, and leave room for flexibility. 
  1. Team Collaboration: Surround yourself with a reliable team. Whether it’s contractors or colleagues, a collaborative approach fosters innovation and problem-solving. 
  1. Continuous Improvement: Learn and adapt as you go. Evaluate what works well and what needs adjustment. Iteration is not just for product development; it applies to homes and businesses alike. 

Every renovation challenge and hiccup holds a nugget of wisdom and this is the exact same in running your business – mistakes big and small are all learnings you can chose to move forward and learn from. Embrace the chaos, adapt to change, and celebrate the small victories.  

They say, success often lies in the journey, not just the destination….but I am NOT doing a renovation project ever again…I don’t think! 

Emma O’Day, Chief Marketing Officer, The Cashroom

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About Cashroom

Cashroom provides expert outsourced accounting services for Law Firms including Legal Cashiering, Management Accounts and Payroll services. Our mission is to free lawyers from the complexities of legal accounting by supporting the industry with accurate management information and allowing lawyers to do what they do best – practice law.

‘The Cashroom have been an integral part of MBM from their inception. They has supported the growth of MBM from a small firm of 15 people all the way to the 70+ partners and staff now working in the firm. I have first hand experience of the wealth of skill employed within the business and the cashiering knowledge is unrivalled. The fluid ability of Cashroom to adapt to the changing requirements of a firm on a daily basis, as well as the ability to cover holiday periods seamlessly would be a benefit to any law firm. The Cashroom portal provides a first class workflow system for all cashiering requests and, more importantly, provides the level of security that email instructions do not. Cashroom provide both a cost effective fully outsourced service that can deliver almost everything that an internal finance team would be charged with, as well as a wraparound service to support an internal finance team.’ 

Stewart MacBride
Finance Director, MBM Commercial LLP
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